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Sleep training is one of the most useful habit for both baby and the take carer. One can start as early as 3 months for training the baby to learn how to fall asleep and how to sleep throughout the night.
There are several methods available that you can use. Best time to develop the habit is from 4-6 months of age. However, it is safer to let your baby share the room where they sleep with you since it reduces the risk of SIDS.
Few babies naturally sleep better and also learn quickly without much difficulty than others. If you child is taking time or is difficult to deal with, don’t worry there are many of us in the same boat. Be calm, more patience, and try the methods repetitively till you success.
There are few extensive methods that are called “cry it out” methods for sleep training your baby. The Ferber method and a modified version of Ferber fall into this category. Though the cry it out approach is quite controversial type for many.
Many people believe that leaving your baby alone to cry and soothe himself to sleep isn’t the greatest idea as it takes away the sleep as well few of the babies develop a phobia of going to sleep (all the crying and fear of being alone). These methods work one the underline rule of letting your baby be alone in the crib by himself and put himself to sleep.
Many people give up to all the crying and sadden over making their baby cry and being left alone. It’s a tough method for both parents and the baby. If one can keep strong and conduct themselves with certain calm and patience then this method not only sleep trains it also gets rid of the nursing required at bedtime, the pacifier and the comfort toy or blanket.
It has been named after the paediatrician and author Richard Ferber who published his book about the method in 1985. This method holds its popularity among the parents who want to teach their baby to sleep train and independency at early age. In this method you are expected to follow the normal routine of bedtime and then put down the baby in his crib and leave the room.
You can watch the baby through baby monitor and see if the baby is doing fine. If needed return to the room progressively at certain intervals (>5mins) and comfort the crying baby but without picking him up. Talk and pacify. Each subsequent night increase the duration of the interval at which you come back to check on him.
Some modification to the Ferber method
Similar to the Ferber method the baby will be left alone to cry a bit. However, a gentler sleep training method will be used where you can increase the frequency at which you check on your baby and comfort him back to sleep.
You can pick him up or pat him to sleep in his crib and then again leave the room. It prevents the extended crying period of your baby and makes them feel more secure and comfortable.
Since many parents don’t like the idea of sleep training their babies where they have to leave their little ones to cry and put themselves to sleep, there are more gentle ways to sleep train them. “Cry it out” aren’t easy for everyone to do so there are few methods that work on the grounds of spending time with your little one during his bedtime and share special bonding time. Many make it a ritual to follow for bedtime where the parents read a book, cuddle and comfort the baby to sleep.
These methods work best for people who want attachment parenting and want to comfort their baby to sleep.
It is a good method for parents who want to sleep train while providing the comfort and parenting attachment to the baby. Start off with kissing the baby goodnight and then put him in the crib to sleep while he is awake. Then sit next to the crib while you can pat him and comfort him to sleep.
With every subsequent passing night try increasing the distant between the yourself and the crib and decrease the comforting. It helps the baby to gradual develop and understand his routine of bedtime. It a safe “ no more tears” method and works wonders for many.
Dr. Harvey Karp say that having a baby sleep through out the night without waking up is myth.Just like many of the adults the babies also wake up for few times every night. Dr Karp advises to follow everyday bedtime routine where one gives a bath, swaddles, feeds, plays some lullaby/white noise or rocks them to fall to sleep.
He suggests that as soon as your little one falls asleep , lay him in his crib and try waking him up by tickling behind hid ear, feet or neck (remember to be gentle).The baby will open his eyes, see his surrounding and eventually slowly close his eyes and fall back to sleep again. If the bay doesn’t sleep or becomes cranky, pacify him and put him back in the crib and repeat.
In this method, after putting your baby into the crib while he is awake you switch off or dim the lights. Switch on the white noise or sing a lullaby and move out of the room. Then you keep coming back and check on him until he falls asleep. You can soothe him, pat him or stay for a bit with him till he gradually feels drowsy and self soothes himself to sleep and them again move out of the room.
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